Wednesday 30th of July 2014



memory failure...


Premier Barry O'Farrell has resigned after being caught out over his evidence to a corruption inquiry after a handwritten note was tendered in which he thanked the head of a company linked to the Obeid family for a $3000 bottle of Penfolds Grange Hermitage.

On Tuesday, the Independent Commission Against Corruption heard evidence that Mr O'Farrell was sent the wine by Nick Di Girolamo as a congratulatory gift following his March 2011 election victory.

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As our bummy-Tony tries to tell us that "it was memory failure" and there was no corruption (the C word) that did Barry a disservice, I believe that's IMPOSSIBLE. Memory failure? Impossible... The date on the label would clearly show Barry's year of birth (1959 — a year of historical proportion being exposed by Gus on this site), as well as the explanatory note from di Girolamo... Only an idiot would not know about Penfold's Grange Hermitage created in 1951 by my good friend Max Schubert...
And Barry is no idiot. He knows when he has goofed (or entrapped) and he has made amends, unlike those pollies who, when found with their hands in the cookie jar, gave the money back pronto under the pretence that the guidelines on the hands in the cookie jar are a bit blurred...
see also: 

the way it works — and the way it worked back then when gentlemen wore top hats...


whom to believe? now we know...

Barry O'Farrell did what he could to minimise the political impact of his maiden visit to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

[The Premier's] inability to recall the contents of a 30-second phone call ... compounds the suspicion we are not getting the full story. 

There was one thing, however, he couldn't control: his lack of a plausible explanation as to how it was he did not receive a $3000 bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange his acquaintance Nick Di Girolamo sent him as a gift just after he won the March 2011 election.

ICAC heard evidence that the precious bottle was sent by courier to O'Farrell's home. Under oath Di Girolamo said O'Farrell even called him to thank him for it. O'Farrell insists, also under oath, he never received it. Who to believe? The Premier's problem is that we are asked to accept that the bottle was stolen or otherwise disappeared from outside his home in Roseville, which he describes as a ''friendly'' neighbourhood. That alone stretches the bounds of credibility.


His inability to recall the contents of a 30-second phone call to Di Girolamo the evening the bottle was purchased compounds the suspicion we are not getting the full story. The episode has exposed O'Farrell's lack of candour about his relationship with Di Girolamo. Rather than barely knowing each other as he has previously implied, it has emerged the pair had each other's private mobile numbers and were in frequent contact.

Di Girolamo says they talked perhaps once a fortnight; O'Farrell says it was more like once a month.

For many, the pertinent question might therefore become: if we cannot trust the Premier to be up front about his relationship with Di Girolamo - a Liberal Party fund-raiser and former lobbyist - why should we believe him about a potentially embarrassing gift?

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A bottle of wine and a memory lapse...


The resignation of Barry O'Farrell has opened a gaping conceptual hole. It seems disproportionate. A bottle of wine and a memory lapse does not seem enough for the guillotine.

Which means everyone around here is wondering if there is more to this story. This does not help O'Farrell in his moment of ultimate sacrifice.

If the events that led to his resignation are as stated, the problem appears to have been containable if O'Farrell had a good political consigliere. Because the Premier's diary would have been frightening to behold due to the sheer number of meetings, events, correspondence, debates, briefings, legislation and parliamentary duties he would have had to have been across.


Probably about 4000 discrete items a year by rough estimate. Multiply that by three years and you get 12,000 separate items.

Given that most people have trouble recalling much of what they did last week, it was plausible that even a 1959 bottle of Penfolds' Grange and a thank you note could get lost in the torrent of detail over the past three years.

It is possible O'Farrell did not recall the Grange gift and was telling the truth when questioned at the Independent Commission Against Corruption, which is why he made the error of being unambiguous. It is a criminal offence to give false evidence to the ICAC, hence his crucial mistake was to not allow for inexactitude in his recollections. He could have invoked scale of detail.

That he did not do so may have been because another prominent Liberal, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, had recently poisoned the well of forgetfulness. The senator went into an ICAC hearing as a cleanskin and emerged as an amnesiac. 



Even though what O'Farrell said was wrong, the sheer size of his diary provided plausible deniability. This, coupled with a frank admission that he was wrong, made it a survivable lapse. The public was not going to demand his head over a bottle of wine, given that O'Farrell has worked so hard to build a reputation as a cleanskin and is otherwise not linked to scandal.

This is why there is speculation bubbling, on the basis of nothing, that it was not just about a bottle of expensive wine.

Such cynicism is based on the corruption that was in the DNA of the longest-serving Liberal government in NSW, run by Robert Askin from 1965 to 1975. When Askin was premier every operator of an illegal off-track betting operation or illegal casino knew that the best way to get things done or to stay alive was to drop a donation, off the books.

Askin had a terrible gambling problem and was always on the hook to his bookies. But he always paid his bills because his fixer always had cash flowing in the pipeline.

The terrain was brought to light in a book, The Prince and the Premier, published in 1985, by a former editor of The Sun-Herald, David Hickie. The book's sub-title does not leave much to the imagination: The Story of Perce Galea, Bob Askin and the Others who Gave Organised Crime Its Start in Australia.

It details how millions of dollars in pay-offs flowed from the illegal gambling industry while police commissioners Norman Allan and Fred Hanson allowed it to flourish because their boss, the premier, was in on the take.

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Gus: The problem here is that the bottle was an UNFORGETTABLE WINE... And by the way don't think for a moment that Gus has some inner sanctum knowledge of anything for him to start mentioning — about ten days ago — the year 1959... I know "coincidences can be uncanny"... Anyway in regard to Askin, if I remember well, his chauffeur or whomever aide de camp, wrote a book a few years ago saying that all what was said about Askin were lies. 





see also: 


remember when — march 1959... Note: Barry was born in May...



voters had massive memory lapse too...


Barry O'Farrell was rolled out of the NSW premiership today, yet according to his colleagues he was more honest than Ghandhi and his Government as pure as driven snow. Peter Wicks from Wixxyleaks corrects the record.

Today was a day that will linger in the memories of NSW voters long after the election next March.

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has resigned after some severely damaging revelations emerged during Independent Commission Against Corruption hearings.

Another day that might suddenly come back to mind is the 28 March 2011.

That was the day in 2011 that the day the voters of NSW bought a lie — and what a whopper it was.

Barry O’Farrell had run a campaign based around allegations of Labor Party corruption and scandal.

In his own words, Barry promised voters a government that was “scandal free”.

What a lie that turned out to be.

In the short time O’Farrell has been Premier there has been almost more scandals and scandal prone ministers than you can count.

Some of these include:

But wait, there's more.

read more:,6391



See also: the next day, after the morning dump...


how did they know...

The barrister leading the Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry has raised questions about whether the information leading to Premier Barry O’Farrell’s resignation was strategically leaked to the media to bring him down.

In the final minutes of a marathon 23-day inquiry into a company linked to the Obeid family, the man who admitted he gave Mr O’Farrell the Penfolds Grange Hermitage was challenged about how the media knew about the undeclared gift ‘‘before ICAC did’’.

Former Australian Water Holdings chief executive Nick Di Girolamo, a Liberal Party fund-raiser and an associate of the Obeid family, was asked whether he had told the former Liberal energy minister Chris Hartcher about the gift of a $3000 bottle of wine, which was sent by courier to the Premier’s Roseville home on April 20, 2011.

The revelations about the gift came late in an inquiry that had already cleared Mr O’Farrell of wrongdoing over his dealings with Australian Water Holdings and Mr Di Girolamo.

‘‘Who in the world did you tell that you’d bought Mr O’Farrell the bottle of Grange?’’ counsel assisting, Geoffrey Watson, SC, said.

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please don't bring the carbon pricing into it...



We expect them to keep their cards close to their chest, or to shuffle the deck entirely if that seems either opportune or advantageous.


Look at the promises made by the campaigning politician ... there will never ever be a GST ... there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead ... No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS.

We won't change the age pension ... until such time as the necessities of the budgetary position ensure that we have little choice but to change the age pension. There will be no carbon tax ... until such time as the necessities of forming a workable ruling coalition dictate that there will, in fact, be a carbon tax.

Back to Tony Abbott in the shadow of O'Farrell:

The important thing today is to show proper appreciation of the integrity that has caused him to act in this way. As I said, it will be a long, long time since anyone in Australian public life has acted by this standard of honour and integrity and as I said, I honour him for it.

Honour presumably mixed with a sense of wonder.


No-one, especially an ABC "journalist" or an ABC radio-host such as Jonathan Green should bring the "carbon tax" in this mix of "porkies"... It is defeating the purpose of the article.

The way the carbon pricing was constructed, it was NOT as a tax, but as a pricing between a levy and and an ETS. It is non-genuine to harp on like Two-Tony-Bot-Watches about "the carbon tax". There was  — and there is — no "carbon tax". Some smart arses might think I am splitting hairs in two long-wise here, but this is reality. The Carbon Pricing was an ETS in its construct, affecting the 500 most CO2-polluting companies in Australia. The fact that these companies passed on the cost down the line to consumers and that some consumers got reimbursed with a rebate, as well as a large part of the levy got used to finance renewable energy project with loans and grants, make these financial processes like an ETS rather than a tax. It was a way to reduce the importance of carbon dioxide emitting industries and improving the clean energy supplies (and please do not include "clean coal" into this). It was — and is — efficient. 

If you don't understand this, Mr Green, you should not be allowed to comment on it. A tax would have been across the board, including fuel for cars. Sure Qantas had to pay the "carbon pricing" on its emissions of CO2, but it slugged consumers with a levy on tickets. Smaller airlines WERE NOT paying a carbon pricing. Please note that the carbon pricing is still enforced.

The main part of the NORTH SHORE "TAX aspect" of this carbon pricing was that most of the RICH "north shore" (and eastern suburbs) consumers of electricity were not eligible for the rebate on the carbon pricing from their electricity bill. The rich objected to this vehemently, though they COULD all afford it. By all account, the "rich weather wafties" were paying an extra $600 on their electricity cost per annum, a strong incentive to cut down on their air conditioning unit usage which by all intent and purposes was — and is — at the source of "global warming". I JEST here, but most of the north shore people don't believe in global warming despite the full-on evidence, including their major headland catching on fire in October 2013. 

Please, good folks out there, note that many of your nemesis — Abbott, Baird, Howard, O'Farrell, Hockey, the Tennis Player and many others — are all from the NORTH SHORE of Sydney. Turnbull and Bishop (Bronwyn) are from Sydney's Eastern Suburbs — which are a bit like Sydney's "North Shore" on the southern bit...

And after having said that her government would not bring a "carbon tax", despite having also said that she was in favour of a carbon tax, Julia Gillard held her promise. She worked out a clever deal with the Greens that would be an ETS in reality and function — and to a great extend far more efficient with a price on carbon.

We know that we have to globally cut our emissions of CO2 by 20 per cent on the emissions of 2000 by 2020. This is a reality. The Abbott Regime does not want to achieve more than 5 per cent reduction by 2020. The Abbott Regime's "direct action" is a crock that will do no reduction of the sort promised and cost the nation dearly but make the polluters richer. Idiot.

Gus Leonisky

Your "north shore waftie" expert.